Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan

Consultation has concluded

The Lake Louise Ski Area is developing a Long-Range Plan to guide environmental, guest experience and educational initiatives.

Our current plan, nearly four decades old, dates back to 1981. It is time to take another look, revise and update. The new plan focuses on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations. Everyone will be able to discover and connect with our unique natural and cultural

The Lake Louise Ski Area is developing a Long-Range Plan to guide environmental, guest experience and educational initiatives.

Our current plan, nearly four decades old, dates back to 1981. It is time to take another look, revise and update. The new plan focuses on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations. Everyone will be able to discover and connect with our unique natural and cultural heritage in more memorable and authentic ways.

Lake Louise has been welcoming visitors since the late 1800s. The first ski lodge was built in 1930 and lift access began in 1952. Today, the Lake Louise Ski Area is internationally-renowned for alpine enjoyment, appreciation and education. From recreational enthusiasts, to young, grass roots and international athletes, to people looking to experience breathtaking vistas and nature at its finest, we welcome guests from across Canada and around the world to enjoy the area while respecting local values, the environment and wildlife. Visitors to Banff National Park are important to the provincial and federal economies, while protection of and awareness about precious natural and cultural heritage remains at the fore.

The new Long-Range Plan will direct all new projects during the next 10 to 15 years within the context of all future development at the ski area, as outlined in Parks Canada’s 2015 Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines. It gives a forever blueprint to determine how we can improve upon aspects of the current operations from a visitor experience and environmental perspective, responsibly.

Focus of the Long-Range Plan

In our unique setting in Banff National Park, we are committed to being a world-leading environmental steward and centre for natural and cultural appreciation. That’s why, even with more than 97 percent of Banff National Park already protected from any future development, our plans include a significant leasehold reduction, a suite of other environmental gains and expanding our interpretive programming.

While we do want to upgrade our terrain and infrastructure within a smaller foot print so that people can enjoy our alpine environment meaningfully, any changes will make sure we protect the area’s unique wildlife, wilderness, heritage and Banff National Park Values.

At the direction of Parks Canada, we are putting forward this Long-Range Plan, which must meet with the detailed parameters in the 2015 Lake Louise Ski Area Site Area Guidelines and accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment. Those documents were drafted by Parks Canada and signed by the CEO of Parks Canada in August 2015.

What’s in our proposal?

From significant environmental gains, to new chairlifts and upgrades to existing chairlifts, to new day lodges and better parking capacity and traffic flow management, our proposed Long-Range Plan is about enhancing our ability to welcome people while protecting our unique culture, wilderness and heritage resources. To do that, we can’t just start making new ski runs and building new facilities without holistic thought. For example, by changing the way we use the land for snow sports, we can develop new terrain in one area and return other parts of the ski area back to wilderness designation.

Our current lease is 2,190 hectares. We are proposing a reduced lease area of 1,162 hectares, plus winter-only Licences of Occupation for West Bowl and Hidden Bowl (374 hectares, combined), as well as operational Licences of Occupation for an additional 130.62 hectares for operational activities such as avalanche control and utilities. The end result would be a reduction of our leasehold by almost half and a 30 per cent reduction of total land available for limited snow sports. Approximately 1,000 hectares of our current lease, or about the size of 800 Canadian football fields of land, will be protected from future development.

Find our more and let us know what you think

Have a look at the topics below to find out more. Detailed information about our proposed plan for information about environmental gains, proposed new chairlifts, ski terrain and lodges, water, wildlife, slope and vegetation management, safety improvements and improved traffic management and parking, along with other important considerations, are available in our full Long-Range Plan and the accompanying Detailed Impact Analysis (DIA), completed by Golder and Associates. Supplemental plans and strategies are all available in our Document Library.


Thank you for your comments – here’s what’s happening next

Thank you for connecting with us to learn more about our proposed Long-Range Plan for the Lake Louise Ski Area.

Whether you took part in one of our open houses (held in April in Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary) or visited this website to discover the details about our proposed plan, we appreciate your willingness to take the time to review our proposals and to offer your comments on a wide range of topics. We have enjoyed hearing the many stories you’ve shared about winter and summer experiences at the resort and your thoughts about the future of the Lake Louise Ski Area.

The proposed Long-Range Plan (LRP) is focused on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. The plan will guide our future activities over the next 10 to 15 years. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations.

Our public comment period closed on June 15, 2019. The feedback we’ve received will assist in our review of the LRP and in Golder's review of the Detailed Impact Analysis. Final versions of those documents will be posted on this website when that process is complete.

We are providing all comments, questions and concerns that we’ve received through this site and our in-person engagement activities, in full, to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process. We will also be producing an engagement summary report, which will be provided to Parks Canada and will be available on this site soon.

Thank you for sharing your stories and comments about your experience at the Lake Louise Ski Area and your thoughts about what you would like to see under our proposed Long Range Plan.

Thank you for your interest in the Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan!

We review content before posting it publicly; however, all comments and questions that we receive through this site will be provided in full to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process, regardless of whether the content is posted or not. 

If you would also like to provide feedback directly to Parks Canada, you may send comments to pc.lakelouise-opinion.pc@canada.ca


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • A resort for all ages!

    5 months ago

    Skiing at Lake Louise has been a big part of my life for 50 years. As a child it was enchanting, as a teenager it was cool, as a young family it was welcoming, and now as a retiree it is familiar and magical. Louise is definitely a resort for all ages and a destination for the world. Also, Ladies’ Day rocks!

    Anne Campbell

    Calgary

  • Great Family Experience

    by tr28, 5 months ago

    We have been skiing at Lake Louse for decades, and now have been enjoying it with our kids.  I have always thought of it as world class - a sentiment that must be shared by the visitors we meet from all over. I have been frustrated by the unreasonable demands of Parks Canada.  The parks are supposed to be for all people, not just backcountry hikers. Skiing is a fantastic way to experience the mountains, and is a great family activity. The overall impact of the resort continues to be minimal, despite what fear mongering environmentalists would have us believe.... Continue reading

  • A home for ski racing

    5 months ago
    Kelly vanderbeek homepage1 1024x646

    Lake Louise is my home turf. Although I come from Northern Ontario, nobody really knew what I did as a ski racer. It wasn’t until I began racing at Lake Louise that my sport felt as though it (and I) had a home.

    Lake Louise’s community is welcoming and is a massive part of my story. It’s where I competed in my first NorAm race, my first World Cup and achieved my first World Cup podium in 2006. Plus, to be the first Canadian woman to ever stand on the Lake Louise World Cup podium was a, if not the,... Continue reading

  • Family-run resort

    5 months ago
    Jim campbell and family

    My wife has been skiing at Lake Louise since the early 70s and I have been going there since 1985, when I first started skiing in the mountains. Our 10-year-old son, Rhys, has been skiing at Louise since 2013. Overall, we’ve been going there for nearly 50 years.

    Rhys is in his fifth year with the Lake Louise Ski Club. We’ve really enjoyed the opportunities he’s had to compete, and the opportunities we’ve had to volunteer and learn about how ski races happen.

    The scenery, the varied terrain, the snow and the people bring us back every year. Unlike a... Continue reading

  • Opportunities to access a great place year-round

    5 months ago
    Billy and family

    I came to Lake Louise from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba for a winter 27 years ago.

    The Lake Louise Ski Area and summer sightseeing operation has been a big part of my life in many ways.

    All three of my children starting skiing before they were two years old and the lifties always took the time to make sure they got on the lift okay.

    Winter recreation at the ski resort was a nice compliment to the skating, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing we enjoyed over the years. Many of my friends and I have enjoyed working at the resort and... Continue reading

  • Family time at Lake Louise

    by stavroskarlos, 5 months ago

    My family and I have been coming to Lake Louise Ski Resort for over 35 years and consider it a very special place.  My favorite memories of the ski hill are waiting at the top of Summit Platter waiting for the rope to drop on Whitehorn while taking in the beautiful scenery and always fantastic fellowship with other skiers and boarders.  Now that I have children we go to Lake Louise every weekend for ski lessons.  I love that I can foster the same appreciation for this amazing resort in them.

    I appreciate that Lake Louise has consistently communicated to... Continue reading

  • World Class!

    by BMullen, 5 months ago

    Good morning,

    I live in Calgary but have skied at LL for years. The surrounding views from the hill are world class! It truly is a priceless area. I have looked at the material provided in the LRP website and have the following comments:

    BALANCE

    Development in Banff national park is always about balance. How can we protect the environment yet allow for a positive visitor experience? These two points of view can be viewed on a continuum. Too much emphasis on one end or the other is suboptimal. I believe what has been proposed by the resort is an... Continue reading